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Lanyon Quoit has had a somewhat checkered history. The enormous capstone measuring some 5 metres by 2½ metres
and weighing an estimated 13½ tonnes was originally supported by four uprights but one of them collapsed, either during a storm in 1815
or when a certain Captain Giddy re-erected the structure in 1824 after a campaign to raise public money.
He made a thoroughly botched job of it. Not only did he shorten and square off, the three remaining uprights, significantly reducing the height of the dolmen
(it was possible for a horse and rider to pass under the capstone in 1769), he reconstructed it at right angles to its original position.
It consists of a shallow 1m tall standing stone,
which has been hewn into a roughly circular shape and punctured by a hole roughly 45cm in diameter.
This is flanked by two further standing stone, about 1.2m tall.
There are other holed stones (such as The Long Stone, Gloucestershire and Davidstow Well, Cornwall) and plenty of stone alignments,
but this arrangement is atypical to say the least. There has been much speculation on the significance of the stones, but in truth, we will never know.
External Links and References
Detailed article on the excellent Cornwall's Archaeological Heritage site http://www.historic-cornwall.org.uk/a2m/bronze_age/stone_circle/men_an_tol/men_an_tol.htm
Men Scryfa is a curious antiquity whose exact age is a matter of considerable debate.
It is inscribed with the words RIALOBRANI CUNOVALI FILI roughly speaking "the Royal Raven, son of the Glorious Prince"
and it supposedly marks the burial place of the Celtic prince Ryalvran, who died here fighting for the recovery of his fathers land.
English Heritage list it as a scheduled monument because it is considered to be a good example of an early medieval memorial stone.
However the Record does add "It has been suggested that this memorial stone may be a reused standing stone
as the early Christians often took over previously venerated stones and marked them with crosses."
It certainly looks no different than a lot of other standing stones, but then I often suspect that many of them are a lot more modern that some people would like them to be.
There are at two megalithic structure called the Nine Maidens in Cornwall, the more famous one being the alignment of stones up by St Columb Major.
This one, also known as the Nine Stones of Boskednan, has been restored since my visit.
Quite how it got its name is a mystery in itself, as, of an original ring of twenty-two or twenty-three, eleven stones still survive.
External Links and References
Boskednan or 'Nine Maidens'
Detailed article on the excellent Cornwall's Archaeological Heritage site. http://www.historic-cornwall.org.uk/a2m/bronze_age/stone_circle/boskednan/boskednan.htm